Work begins on new school

Construction on a new Frenship elementary school has begun, the final project of a $128 million bond Frenship residents passed in 2007.

“We are done with the bond when this north elementary is built. It’s the very last item,” said Tim Williams, executive director of business operations at Frenship Independent School District.

The district purchased 19.2 acres of land in December 2011 on the east side of North Milwaukee Avenue at its intersection with Itasca Street.

Derek Cobb, operations coordinator, showed pictures of the gym at the new elementary school to trustees at a meeting Monday.

Cobb said plumbing is also being worked on at the new school.

“It will not open until August of ’14,” Williams said.

The guaranteed maximum price of that school will be $15.9 million.

Andy Penney, the district’s public relations director, said the district has no deadline for construction.

“You don’t want to build a building if you can’t fill it,” Penney said.

Planning for the 2007 bond started years before Frenship residents passed it in 2007.

“You usually call a bond six to eight months before a bond vote,” Penney said.

But demographic reports and strategic plans would have to have started in the 2004-05 school year, he said.

The 2007 bond issue was passed by voters with a promise of two new elementary schools, one middle school and several other construction projects.

Lee Lewis Construction completed most of the construction and is working on the new elementary school, while Knox, Galey and Meador completed secured entrance upgrades at some schools and work on the Casey Administration Building.

Oak Ridge Elementary School opened in 2009-10, while Heritage Middle School opened in the 2011-12 school year.

Another portion of the bond, a cafeteria expansion, was completed just this month, with students filing into the newly renovated lunch lines at Frenship High School.

The bond also had money used for secure entrances at all the existing Frenship schools in 2007. Four Frenship elementary schools — Bennett, Crestview, North Ridge and Westwind — had renovations and additions made from the bond. Those projects were complete in 2008 and 2009.

Frenship Middle School also had renovations and additions paid for with bond money, as well as a new athletic complex. Those were completed in the fall of 2009.

Terra Vista Middle School received a classroom addition in December 2007, while a new multipurpose facility was completed in 2009.

Frenship High had a large number of construction projects, including a new gymnasium completed in 2009, a career and technology building completed in 2009, a classroom addition including a science wing completed in 2009, a fine arts facility completed in 2012 and the cafeteria expansion completed this week. The FHS athletic complex was completed in 2010.

A multipurpose facility was added to the Reese Education Center in 2010. An addition and renovations to Casey were completed in 2009 and 2010.

An annex building and a vocational agriculture facility were both completed in 2010, and a maintenance storage facility was completed in 2011. An expansion to the bus facility was finished in 2012.

Williams said some additional maintenance projects, such as fixing some air conditioners, will be completed in August. Those were also funded under the 2007 bond.

The concept of a new ninth-grade center, which the school board approved at the Monday meeting, is not included in the 2007 bond.

Penney said FISD is still collecting information and researching ways to build the ninth-grade center.

Bob Templeton of Templeton Demographics told the school board Monday he sees growth in Frenship continuing at 3.5 to 4 percent annually. He said his company projected enrollment at FISD to be 8,013 this year, and they were pleased to be off by only nine students.

Next year, Templeton said the district should have 8,282 students.

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